Along a picturesque stretch of Caribbean coastline, a unique take on the all-inclusive concept is debuting in Riviera Maya the first quarter of 2017. Described by Frank Maduro, v.p. of marketing for AIC Hotel Group, as a “one-of-a-kind adults-only” property for the “youthful aspirational traveler,” UNICO Hotel Riviera Maya—the first property in the group’s new UNICO Hotels collection—is targeted at 30- to 60-somethings who are interested in immersive cultural experiences such as mezcal tastings, pit roasts and full moon parties, which will all be offered at the new resort. Recommend reached out to Maduro to get the scoop on how UNICO Hotels plans to shake up the all-inclusive industry with the opening of the 448-guestroom UNICO Hotel Riviera Maya.
Melissa Bryant (MB): What was AIC Hotel Group’s goal in creating the UNICO Hotel brand?
Frank Maduro (FM): Our goal in creating the UNICO Hotels brand was to fill a void in the marketplace for aspirational, inspirational and experiential all-inclusive travel.
MB: What makes UNICO Hotels a “completely new type of all-inclusive”?
FM: UNICO is a new type of all-inclusive because it focuses on not only the amenities, but also the experiences. It strives to provide quality over quantity, and to create a bond with the destination through our tapped-in staff.
MB: Why did you decide to make UNICO Hotels adults only?
FM: The type of experiences and offerings we’ve developed to immerse our guests with the destination are more suited for an adult traveler than those with families.
MB: In what ways will UNICO Hotel Riviera Maya be unique when it launches in the first quarter of 2017? How will it reflect the property’s locale and native culture?
FM: We will be offering exclusive private tours that no other hotel in the region will have access to, included in the all-inclusive package. We will also include golf, select tours, spa and salon services as part of the all-inclusive offering.
MB: What, in your opinion, are the top three selling points for UNICO Hotel Riviera Maya?
FM: The top three points will have to be: The proud local concept, where our staff will be involved with the guest experience at all levels. Secondly will be the exclusive tours and experiences that will fully immerse our guests with the destination. Third will be the focus on the food and beverage and the visiting chef programs.
MB: One of the interesting aspects of UNICO Hotels is that guests receive a unique “Host” for their stay. How will this “Host” differ from a traditional butler service?
FM: Playing on the “host” family concept one experiences when staying with a local family, the host or “El Anfitrion” provides an added level of pampering and personalized service. The host will make you feel as though you are visiting their home and be able to offer suggestions and make arrangements like a local would. It will be very service centric, but with a personal touch from a local’s perspective.
MB: What are some of the incentives available to agents who book across AIC Hotel Group’s portfolio (leading commissions, exclusive agent rates, tailored support, and incentives)?
FM: AIC Hotel Group has built its business with the support of travel professionals and UNICO will be part of the offering. Travel professionals can enjoy up to 19 percent commission, exclusive marketing support, 19 business development managers throughout the US and Canada, exclusive in-house sales and marketing support, co-op dollars, free week opportunities and much more.
MB: Are you able to tell us about any future UNICO properties in the works? Or maybe give us a hint about an upcoming property’s location?
FM: UNICO will be a brand that you will see across the Caribbean and Mexico in the very near future; we can’t release any information yet, but we are already working on a second location for this new all-inclusive brand.
To find out more about UNICO Hotels and UNICO Hotel Riviera Maya, check out Recommend’s August 2016 feature Couples + All-Inclusives: Match Made in Heaven. For more information, visit aichotelgroup.com/our-resorts/unico.